Arab League FMs to meet in Algeria ahead of high-level summit

Beyond regional leaders, Algeria Invited the United Nations chief as a guest of honour.

Arab foreign ministers are set to meet on Saturday in Algeria in preparation for the Arab League summit, scheduled to take place on 1 November, diplomatic sources told Qatar’s news agency (QNA).

Ahead of the preparatory session, representatives from the bloc’s member states are holding meetings over draft resolutions on various issues concerning the Arab League. 

According to QNA, the resolution is related to various issues concerning the region, including the ongoing war in Yemen, Syria’s decade-long conflict, Libya’s political turmoil, and the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Leaders at the summit are also set to tap into the global food and energy security crises that have been made worse by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

While regional leaders are scheduled to attend the summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had to cancel all travels based on advice by his doctors. Instead, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan will lead the kingdom’s delegation.

Beyond regional leaders, Algeria invited the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a guest of honour.

The upcoming summit is the first to take place since 2019 and was postponed in light of the Covid-19 outbreak that disrupted daily life across the world.

Leading up to the event, Algeria expressed its support for the return of the Syrian regime to the bloc after its membership was suspended in 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring.

At the time, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad began carrying out violent crackdowns on peaceful protestors, committing  flagrant human rights violations that prompted the bloc to suspend its membership.

The attacks led to a decade-long war as rights groups continue to expose harrowing details of torture and massacres committed by Assad.

In July, Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra met with Assad in Damascus, where he said “Syria’s absence from the Arab League harms cooperation between Arab countries”.

The meeting came as various Arab nations have appeared to warm towards Syria, including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar has maintained its unwavering stance with regards to the Syrian regime, staunchly refusing normalisation due to Assad’s ongoing flagrant human rights abuses against civilians.

Apart from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have also voiced their opposition to the return of the regime to the bloc.

Last month, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called out the lack of action against war criminals in Syria.

“In our region the international community has failed to hold the war criminals in Syria accountable for what they [are] perpetuating. And in further disillusionment, some are seeking to turn the page on the tragedy of the Syrian people,” Amir Tamim told the United Nations.

Also last month, Sheikh Tamim told French outlet Le Point noted the reasons that led to the suspension of Syria’s Arab League membership still remain as issues more than a decade on.

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